December 15, 1941 – February 6, 2013
San Francisco, California Randall “Randy” Givens passed away Feb. 6, 2013 at age 73, following years of poor health. A colorful character in the San Francisco medical marijuana activist scene, he was a pool hustler, a supporter of Prop 215 – California’s 1996 medical use initiative, and a common fixture at the SF Cannabis Buyers’ Club SF-CBC until it was shut down by the state in 1998, long before SB 420 authorized patient collectives.
He was one of five children born and raised in Springfield. He moved to San Mateo, CA in the 1960s but returned to San Francisco in the early 1970s and worked as a custom cabinet maker and woodworker into the 1980s. He sold marquetry artwork as a San Francisco street artist during that time. He was a columnist for several years with “Pool and Billiard” magazine, a national
Read More: Randy Givens, San Francisco activist
As the West Coast Leaf goes on hiatus, as announced in our previous issue, we would like to again thank our writers, advertisers, subscribers and helpers for making it possible for us to publish “the cannabis newspaper of record.”
These past five years have been among the most exciting in the history of reform, and we are glad to have played a role in informing and inspiring people to create change. See WestCoastLeaf.com as to our future plans
Born June 21, 2008 — Died Nov. 14, 2012
Cash Hyde, 4, was the youngest known cannabis patient in the US when he passed away Nov. 14, 2012 from brain cancer. His parents and doctor were able to replace seven scary and toxic drugs that had been given as a nausea cocktail around the clock with 0.3 milliliters of cannabis oil. At the time he first used it, he was so sick that he hadn’t eaten in over 40 days and was living on TPN and lipids as intravenous nutrition. He vomited 8-10 times a day and could barely lift his head off the pillow. Within two weeks of receiving the oil, Cash was eating, laughing, and had a quality of life he hadn’t seen in months. After two full remissions from the cancer, its third appearance was too much for his body to withstand.
While it was cancer
Read More: Cash Hyde: Youngest cannabis patient
Born Feb 12, 1930 — Died Oct. 14, 2012
“If it were legalized in Pennsylvania and if I were in pain and my doctor prescribed it, then yes, absolutely I would” use medical marijuana to help combat his cancer, US Senator Arlen Specter told the Philadelphia Daily News June 17, 2008. A Republican, he joined Senator Jim Webb the following year to propose a major prison-reform package, including federal drug-sentencing reforms.
Specter switched parties after three decades April 29, 2009 — the same day Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana bill HB 1393 was introduced — to become a Democrat. He gave a strong endorsement to medical marijuana at a Jan 30. 2010 candidates forum, but eventually they both lost.
State Sen. Daylin Leach (D) promised a renewed effort in December 2012 to pass a medical marijuana bill during the 2013 session of the Pennsylvania Senate.
Born: Oct. 7, 1958 – Died: Sept. 13, 2012
Mother, patriotic prostitute and fierce advocate for medical marijuana Robyn Few came from Paducah, KY to California, where she touched many people’s lives before she passed away after a four-year struggle with cancer.
Few was a patient and advocate who worked with ASA, among other groups, and was frustrated in her efforts to set up first a dispensary and then a cannabis museum in San Francisco. When US Attorney General John Ashcroft swept her up in a crackdown on prostitution, always true to herself, Few courageously fought back with a campaign to legalize prostitution as she organized the Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) in 2003. The group designated Dec 17 as International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. In June 2012, the Robyn Few Sex Workers’ Resource Center opened in Tucson, AZ.
A natural born rabble-rouser, Few was the MC at
Read More: Robyn Few: Champion of legalized cannabis and prostitution
Born 1944 • Died August 30, 2012
By Tom Daubert
Richard Giles Flor, of Miles City, Montana, a Vietnam vet and loving husband and father, became a martyr to the cause of cannabis patients’ rights Aug. 30, 2012 at the age of 68. In the eyes of his friends and colleagues, he was functionally murdered by the federal government’s draconian enforcement of prohibition.
Flor died in federal custody, while in the process of being transferred to the federal medical facility to which a judge had sentenced him some six months earlier. He had languished instead in a private state prison, receiving none of the vital healthcare treatment he needed. The same judge had refused to release him temporarily, finding that the situation, while “regrettable,” didn’t legally justify compassion.
Flor had produced quality medical marijuana for suffering patients for more than six years under the watchful and evidently approving eye of
Read More: Montana caregiver Richard Flor dies in federal custody
Gabriel Nahas, March 4, 1920 – June 28, 2012
Widely regarded as one of the world’s most profligate liars about marijuana, Dr. Gabriel Nahas leveraged his reputation as a WW II liberation hero to promote the incarceration of hundreds of thousands of people for choosing to consume a plant.
Anti-cannabis bigotry instilled in him by his parents in Egypt led him to work with Nancy ‘Just Say No’ Reagan and the UN in the 1980s and to publish 700 articles in scientific journals claiming that marijuana contributed to cancers of the head and neck, leukemia, infertility, brain damage and a weakening of the immune system. Those claims have since been proven to be false.
The New England Journal of Medicine described his work as ‘psychopharmacological McCarthyism that compels him to use half-truths, innuendo and unverifiable assertions.” When the French author Michka pointed this out in a book, Nahas sued her
Read More: Obituary: Dr. Reefer Madness dies
A Question of the West Coast Leaf’s future…
This editorial poses a question to our readers as to how the West Coast Leaf shall proceed. When we launched this newspaper, long-time activists and publishers Chris Conrad and Mikki Norris agreed to produce it for five years and then decide what to do next. As this current issue is Vol. 5 No. 3, we are nearing the end of that cycle, and it is time for us to decide. The upcoming Winter 2012 edition marks the end of this arrangement.
One thing is certain, things will not remain as they are now. Some people say the Internet has displaced the need for authoritative print journalism. Others say that a credible newspaper of record has a singular place and purpose, and it’s time for others to step up to the plate to keep it going. We just know it’s time for
Read More: SAVE THE LEAF
Joy Cole, founder of Sacramento Patients Alliance, passed away April 29, 2012 due to health complications. Cole, 49, a stage-four lung-cancer survivor with an unwavering commitment to medical marijuana, was named “Best Cannabis Activist” in the Sacramento News & Review’s 2011 Best of Sac issue.
Born in Southern California, Cole became a reform activist soon after graduating from Ventura High School. She moved to Sacramento, where her understanding of the fractuous medical cannabis community was unmatched, enabling her to transcend every situation and find the good in every person. She dedicated immense time and energy to building positive experiences. If there was a local action to fight for the rights of patients and providers, one could be sure Cole was in on it. She overcame every obstacle to make sure she was present, and every event was better organized because of her effort. Joy was there. She was a warrior
Read More: Sac Patients Alliance founder Joy Cole: Born 1963 – Died April 29, 2012
Reformer, perennial KY gubernatorial candidate
One of the great icons of cannabis reform and author of The Last Free Man in America, L. Gatewood Galbraith passed away Jan. 4, 2012 of complications from emphysema and a common cold.
In addition to his five runs for Kentucky governor, Galbraith was known for backing industrial hemp and for the Truth Commission and Marijuana Feasibility Study he launched in the late 1980s. His plan was to model commercial cannabis regulations after the tobacco model, with individual farmers allowed to produce personal amounts plus a small crop that would be inspected and distributed through a state agency. His hope was that it would protect the ‘mom and pop’ model of marijuana cultivation.
Born in Carlisle, KY to Henry Clay and Dollie Galbraith, Gatewood spoke with a heavy drawl and impassioned rhetoric, blasting the “greedy corporations” for their “synthetic subversion” and invoking “America’s founding farmers”
Read More: Louis Gatewood Galbraith: Born Jan. 23, 1947 – Died Jan. 4, 2012
San Francisco cannabis commission member
Like many gay men of his generation, Michael Goldstein came to San Francisco for social tolerance and was politically active until he passed away Dec. 2, 2011 from stage 4 lymphoma after living with HIV for nearly 20 years. He served as an elected member of the Democratic County Central Committee and as president of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club.
Goldstein worked at the SF AIDS Legal Research Panel where he became aware of the benefits of cannabis for patients and soon became a champion for the cause of medical marijuana. After the City adopted a lowest-law-enforcement-priority policy for cannabis, he became head of the Marijuana Offenses Oversight Committee.
“I believe that marijuana or cannabis has been proven to be on the same level as alcohol and over-the-counter type of medications,” he once said. “I’m not looking at it totally as a medical issue.
Read More: Michael Goldstein: Born 1953- Died Dec. 2, 2011